Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thoughts about the Sabbath Doctrine

In the first issue of Tomorrow's World that I received in the mail was one article that convinced me that Christians are now required to observe the Sabbath. It mentioned that Jesus observed the Sabbath, therefore it argued that I should observe it as well. I was totally convinced on this matter. This moment made me trust them.

It never occurred to me to ask the following question: "11. If we must follow the example of Jesus in all things like keeping the Sabbath, then why do Sabbatarians not follow the example of Jesus in circumcision, animal sacrifices and keeping Passover?"

Though who wish to learn more on this issue would do well to read this critique of HWA's Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? written by William Hohmann. This argues that the Sabbath commandment was only made for a people living in a specific area (the Holy Land). Outside of this area it is impossible to know which day is the Sabbath.

"This holy time of the Sabbath was in relation to the nation of (and therefore the location of) Israel. In order to make the Sabbath work for other locations, a problem arises as to which day you determine is the Sabbath based upon which direction you travel from Israel. If you travel east to America, then the Sabbath would be on what Americans call Friday. If one lives in the Arctic or Antarctic, then there are times there is no sunrise or sunset for very long periods of time." (Hohmann, Chapter 2.)

Today we determine what day it is based on our position relative to the International Date Line. HWA, unlike many other "man-made" institutions, chose to accept the Date Line. As Gavin Rumney has pointed out this line has underwent some changes recently. Thus Seventh Day Adventists in Tonga observe both Saturday and Sunday. Furthermore the Date Line has also been altered in 1910 and temporarily in 1921, before HWA became got involved in religion.

Knowing how often the "authority of men" is viewed negatively within the COGs it is not surprising that some Sabbatarians have come to assert that because the Date Line was "set up by men" everyone east of Jerusalem is keeping the Sabbath on the wrong day.

Here is how one former member described it: "More and more people who are Sabbath keepers now believe that everyone between the International Date Line and Jerusalem are keeping the Sabbath on the wrong day because the dateline was established by man, not God, and that God counts time from Jerusalem westward." (See fifth comment.)

Mr. Hohmann in his critique cited above argues that God foresaw that this practice would be abolished before any Sabbath keeper wandered too far away, or into the polar circles. Wherever the Sabbath exists, on the other side of the world it is not holy time at all. In the polar circles such concepts become meaningless.

Because of these matters I am persuaded that it is not now necessary to legalistically observe the Sabbath as those in the COGs do.

On another matter if the Holydays are a part of the Law of God which is to observed today why is it that this church has in fact changed the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles?

All of these issues were unknown to me at the time I was persuaded into adopting Sabbatarianism. I would not have listened to them had I understood the true nature of the COGs and the flawed nature of their doctrines, including that of the Sabbath.


  1. Where does the Bible say time is counted from Jerusalem westward??
    If that's so, then everyone in eastern Israel (Jericho or Ramoth Gilead, for example) are sinners because they are to the east and God keeps time towards the west. They should have been keeping the Sabbath on the next day.

    Bill was right. And once again it's the "authority of men" who sets up date rules with their "Jerusalem westward" statements.

    (I TIM. 1: 7) They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    But it's not only the Sabbath and Holy Days, it's the beginning of each month (ie New Moon) as well. The monthly New Moon observation is something little known to Armstrongists, but commanded in the Old Covenant. And that opens another kettle of fish in that once we start keeping the law we are obligated to keep the whole thing (GAL. 3: 10; 5: 3)! Fail in even one point and we fail in it all (JAS. 2: 10).

    (TIT. 3: 9) But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

  2. I hope that you are NOW working 7 days a week and NOT resting. Your whole arguments are like straw. The Sabbath is a day off to give people chance to rest. You would think that God is some sort of devil for telling people to take a break!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.